Educating the Commentariat

After reading some of the leftist commentary on my CSK funeral post, I remembered this great line from Billy Madison:

“Mr. _______, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

I think I’ll take a minute and actually deal with some of the poop being shoveled here. Trolloc thinks the GOP is permanently racist and sexist. Never mind that it is the party that both freed the slaves and obtained the vote for women and blacks.

All the goodwill is erased because the GOP (or Richard Nixon, at least) had a southern strategy to capitalize on the disaffection of southern whites over civil rights. What does that look like?

The GOP became the party of law and order in contrast to the leftward tilt of the McGovernite faction. They advertised their toughness on crime relentlessly. Ooooooh. How racist.

The GOP opposed affirmative action. Look out! Never mind that opposing affirmative action fits perfectly with the party’s traditional insistence on limited government and freedom of contract. It has to be a racist move. There couldn’t be another possibility could there? HMMMMMM.

And on women, the GOP opposes abortion. That must be because of a desperate desire to control women and keep them domesticated. Never mind that the party claims another justification, which is to protect unborn life from physical violence. And oh, by the way, to argue against the notion that the woman owns the fetus as property just as slaves were property. What’s this? Another historical connection to the GOP of the past. Why how can it be? I thought this was the new GOP turned bad after the great wonderful GOP of Lincoln in the past.

Suffice it to say that the party and its members can hold certain principled positions with great sincerity, but rather than deal with the actual intellectual and even spiritual content of those positions there will always be persons who will rather cry racist, sexist, etc.

When Rosalyn Carter said of Ronald Reagan, “He makes us comfortable with our prejudices,” that was her way of avoiding the deep insufficiencies of her husband’s leadership and the emergence of the GOP as a successful populist party cutting into traditional Democrat strongholds.

Yeah, the GOP won the southerners, but guess what? They won the new southerners and often not the old ones. How many have families like mine where all the grandparents (from the patently racist period) support the Democrats TO THIS DAY (FDR, you know) while the younger progeny are Republicans to the core? I’ve got news for you. The switch is not due to a change in GOP racial policy (which there never has been). The switch is due to a successful combination of economic sanity (i.e. not socialism or socialism lite) and a particular brand of philosophico-religious morality that emphasizes the sanctity of life.

And oh, I forgot, the GOP actually wanted to win the Cold War. That made a wee difference, too.

UPDATE:

After writing all this, I couldn’t help but remember the example of one Barry Goldwater, the predecessor of Reagan who got toasted by LBJ largely due to sympathy for the dead President Kennedy and some mighty vicious campaign tactics.

Goldwater’s family department stores had always been integrated. He had himself experienced discrimination at prominent golf courses because of his Jewish background. Goldwater had once responded to a golf course attendant, “I’m half Jewish, can I play nine holes?” Nevertheless, LBJ’s Democrats never thought twice about labeling him a racist for his principled opposition to federal civil rights legislation.

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16 thoughts on “Educating the Commentariat

  1. Hunter’s got his groove on. Crescendo and declamando: bravo!

    If I may be permitted to add my humble signature to your passionate presentation, I would be honored to so affix.

    I say this as the grandson of a Jew who joined a picket line in the garment center in 1910 even though he personally was making nice money for a 17-year-old kid, and who rolled under the gangsters’ car to avoid the submachine gun fire; he never voted anything but Democrat and he told me as a kid that this was our proud legacy.

  2. Since this is the second time tonight you’ve questioned someone’s assertion, Mr. Darrell, please permit me to explain how it works:

    No one expects you take anything on faith. You are invited to research things you question on your own, and if you find proof to the contrary, you are encouraged to share it, as men of good will seek the truth above all.

    I’m sure you don’t mean to be rude, but questioning someone’s veracity and requiring proof without looking for it yourself is an imposition and somewhat insulting.

    And yes, Bobby Kennedy authorized the wiretaps on Martin Luther King. Verification is just a google away.

    Try “Kennedy,” “wiretap,” and “King.”

  3. I second Tom’s emotion. The suggestion that Goldwater was not repeatedly labeled a racist in the presidential election of 1964 is laughable. There are many accounts of that election available to the student of history who wishes to read them.

  4. In defense of Mr. Darrell, let me point to the fact that Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman is one of his favorite books. That should be on everyone’s list.

  5. We could see the standard dem/lib mantra that Republicans/conservatives are racist right here on this board over the past couple of months in the Sam Alito discussions.

    The basic argument by our dem/lib friends went something like this:

    1. Alito made a ruling on [insert case here].
    2. This is the liberal (and therefore only) way to interpret the law: [insert pseudo-intellectual legalese gibberish].
    3. Alito ruled differently.
    4. Therefore Alito is a racist.

    This is about all that the intellectual lightweights on the Senate Judiciary Committee had too. Not very convincing, as it turned out.

  6. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.

    I’m pretty sure Adam Sandler stole this line from my dissertation advisor.

    When did LBJ call Goldwater a racist?

    There are plenty of illustrations for the Googling, but I would suggest Glenn Garvin’s review of Rick Perlstein’s biography of Goldwater for some good examples. I cannot repeat them here as I’m pretty sure Blogspot would ban us for using the N word, a word that flowed from LBJ’s lips pretty freely.

  7. It’s off topic, but my favorite stories about LBJ have to do with his use of physical intimidation via nakedness. He supposedly called people in for conversations while he was sitting on the toilet, didn’t mind dropping trou to emphasize a point, and once met a group of reporters (all male at the time) as he swam in the altogether.

  8. “Trolloc thinks the GOP is permanently racist and sexist.”

    Permanent? No. I never said that. What I said is that the GOP has actively worked to become racist (and yes sexist) NOW.

    “Never mind that it is the party that both freed the slaves and obtained the vote for women and blacks.”

    See above and refresh yourself on the concept of “time.”

    “The GOP became the party of law and order in contrast to the leftward tilt of the McGovernite faction. They advertised their toughness on crime relentlessly. Ooooooh. How racist.”

    Hunter you keep blundering into one trap after another: yes their “tough on crime” push is incredibly racists since the system they champion is objectively racist. “Tough on crime” is nothing more than “Tough on blacks” and you know it.

    “The GOP opposed affirmative action. Look out! Never mind that opposing affirmative action fits perfectly with the party’s traditional insistence on limited government and freedom of contract. It has to be a racist move. There couldn’t be another possibility could there? HMMMMMM.”

    I’m sure there are many motives but one of them is clearly racism. The GOP doesn’t just dislike the (admittedly bad) solution. They try to pretend the problem itself doesn’t exist. They maintain the myth that all americans have opportunity to succeed even as they pass bill after bill to stack the deck.

    Perhaps you recall the Bankruptcy bill that made personal bankruptcy much more difficult… but kept corporate bankruptcy as easy as ever.

    Did that help the poor or the rich? And subsequently the minorities or the whites?

    ” And on women, the GOP opposes abortion. That must be because of a desperate desire to control women and keep them domesticated. Never mind that the party claims another justification, which is to protect unborn life from physical violence.”

    Which would be compelling except that as soon as that “unborn” is out of the uterus the GOP turns its back. It wants the fetus alive but won’t pay to feed it, educate it, get it medical care, or protect it from abusive parents.

    When the GOPP cares as much about actual children as it does a fetus let me know.

    “And oh, by the way, to argue against the notion that the woman owns the fetus as property just as slaves were property.”

    No one said she owns the fetus, she owns her OWN body which the GOP is trying to sieze. WHOOPS! Another trap you fell into, Hunter, you just pointed out neatly how the GOP HAS become the new slavers.

    “Suffice it to say that the party and its members can hold certain principled positions with great sincerity”

    They COULD. And I’m sure some do, but the hypocritical nature of so many of their policies belies the idea that the majority DO.

  9. “In defense of Mr. Darrell, let me point to the fact that Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman is one of his favorite books. That should be on everyone’s list.”

    The other one is good too. I think it is “What do you care what people think, Dr. Feynman.” Something like that.

    Tanu Tuva throat singers… that still cracks me up.

  10. “And yes, Bobby Kennedy authorized the wiretaps on Martin Luther King. Verification is just a google away.”

    True but that is misleading. Kennedy approved the taps but they were entirely the brainchild of hoover:

    “In October 1963, Hoover requested Atty. Gen. Kennedy to approve a wiretap on King’s telephone. At that time, taps had to be approved by the attorney general and did not require court approval in the form of a warrant. The basis for the tap was King’s close association with Stanley Levison, who Hoover said was a prominent member of the Communist Party with great influence over King in civil rights matters.

    Bobby was furious. Hoover’s charge that King was a pawn of the communists could potentially taint the whole movement and bring into question everything we were doing to vindicate the constitutional rights of black citizens. It was hard to think of an issue more explosive.

    To understand just how explosive, one has to remember that Hoover was both popular and enormously powerful, with great support in Congress. Some of that support was based on admiration, some on fear that he had damaging personal information in his files. Much support came from conservative Southern Democrats, opposed to King, who chaired virtually every important congressional committee. Hoover was formally a subordinate of the attorney general who could, technically, fire and replace him. That’s a big “technically.” No attorney general, including RFK and myself when I succeeded him, could fully exercise control over him. And none did.

    When Hoover asked for the wiretaps, Bobby consulted me (I was then his deputy) and Burke Marshall, head of the Civil Rights Division. Both of us agreed to the tap because we believed a refusal would lend credence to the allegation of communist influence, while permitting the tap, we hoped, would demonstrate the contrary. I think the decision was the right one, under the circumstances. But that doesn’t mean that the tap was right. King was suspected of no crime, but the government invaded his privacy until I removed the tap two years later when I became attorney general. It also invaded the privacy of every person he talked to on that phone, not just Levinson.”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-katzenbach16jan16,0,2941426.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions

    Frankly when someone makes a claim and requires you to verify it for them it’s a good bet they are hiding something. Case in point.

  11. True but that is misleading. Kennedy approved the taps but they were entirely the brainchild of hoover:

    What’s up all of these posts lately about Democrats (Kennedy, Rockefeller, etc.) with no spine?

    Good grief, what if someone comes to you in 30 years with a story about how the Director of the NSA came to Bush with this wiretap idea. Bush really didn’t want to do it – in fact, he was quite furious about the whole thing – but in the end felt like it was the best way to exonerate those who were being targeted. I mean, we all know how influencial those NSA boys are – wouldn’t want to cross them. Would you really buy that?

    Give me a break. Not only is that argument crap, it makes your guy look like a complete wuss doing so.

  12. Tough on crime” is nothing more than “Tough on blacks” and you know it.

    I’ll play your stupid game … heck, I’ll even give it a name:

    Phrase Association!

    Oppose abortion? You racist pig, you realize that blacks need abortion more than whites, just look at the numbers!

    Want school choice? You racist scumbag pig, that will only help the rich white kids; we’d rather keep the poor blacks in failing schools.

    See Tlaloc, when you try to ascribe motivation to someone elses action, you can claim whatever you want. Too bad it is meaningless to anyone interested in real debate.

  13. “Good grief, what if someone comes to you in 30 years with a story about how the Director of the NSA came to Bush with this wiretap idea.”

    Come on Matt, there is nobody in the government nowadays with power approaching that of Hoover. He was the most powerful man on earth bar none. Don’t get me wrong. I certainly think it was wrong of Kennedy to sign off on the program but to claim it was something kennedy wanted is simply false. The record shows that kennedy was against it but knuckled under to the pressure.

    Certainly nothing to be proud of but again kennedy should not be tarred as the one who wiretapped King. Hoover should. It was his policy.

  14. “See Tlaloc, when you try to ascribe motivation to someone elses action, you can claim whatever you want.”

    Are you trying to claim that it is impossible to look at a groups stated claims and their actual actions and notice the two are out of phase? Are you really going to try to argue that every group can only be taken at face value regardless of what they actually do?

    It is not me ascribing a motivation to the GOP when I notice that they ignore children in favor of fetuses. That is simply observing their actions and noticing that they run contrary to their claims of compassion.

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